Here are seven memorable ways to deepen your relationships with past clients, create raving fans and generate more referrals.

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Want your clients to stay in love with you (as their agent, clearly) and pass along all their referrals? 

One of the best ways to grow your business is to deepen relationships with your past clients and, in turn, receive more referrals. The goal is to be memorable.

The best way to be memorable is to purposely focus on adding value to the people who already know, like and trust you due to their experience with you.

Here’s my list of the top ways agents are out there creating raving fans and generating more referrals with past clients.

1. Take one past client per week to lunch

Throughout history, relationships have been built or strengthened over shared meals. Having lunch with one past client a week is a systematic way to move people from clients to friends.

These lunches are a time to move past surface conversations and get to know your past clients in a more personal way.

Ask them about their work, their family, their passions and their future plans. Share a funny story about how you met your spouse or got into real estate. Tell them about the part of your life that drives you. It could be a charity, a passion for something or a dream you have.

Go into these lunches without an agenda except to get to know them better. Lead with the relationship. Proactively pursuing relationships with past clients will naturally lead to more business. If you go deeper into your past client relationships, they will take your business wider.

2. Recognize special occasions

One of the most flattering forms of friendship is when someone uniquely recognizes a special occasion. Social media has created a fantastic way to stay engaged and see when special moments or events happen for our past clients.

It could be an anniversary, a wedding, graduation, a family trip or even just a great photo of your clients doing something they love. By uniquely recognizing these events, you’ll set yourself apart.

Sierra Reed with The Reed Realty Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties out of St. Louis, Missouri, does this by using SendOutCards to copy photos from social media posts of her clients, recognizing their special occasions.

She copies the photo from her client’s social media post, and SendOutCards gives her the ability to make that photo the front of a customized card she sends them. On the inside of the card, she will say something like:

“This photo was too good not to be celebrated. I hope you are doing well.”

This method is a simple way to stand out and be memorable for just a few dollars and a little time.

3. Celebrate with desserts

Being a part of annual celebrations by giving away desserts is a great way to be a part of family celebrations, whether for local events or national holidays like Thanksgiving.

Mardi Gras is a big deal in Louisiana. Trey Willard, team leader of The W Group, Keller Williams Realty out of Baton Rouge, gives away king cakes for all of his clients during Mardi Gras.

They reach out to clients starting a month in advance via phone, text and email. They then have pickup days set for Thursday and Friday before Mardi Gras starts. Everybody on the team is in the office during those two days, providing an excellent opportunity to catch up with past clients as a “pregame atmosphere” before Mardi Gras.

Heidi Harris, owner of The Home Sweet Heidi Team with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Realty out of Raleigh, North Carolina, does an annual pie giveaway the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

They contact all past clients via text with a link through SignUpGenius, which is also the invitation, starting a month before with multiple touches leading up to the distribution. They set the distribution up in the cul-de-sac by Harris’ home.

Some people just pull through and pick up their pie, but many park and spend time with the team. The environment enhances a sense of community with Harris’ past clients that she has worked hard to build.

4. Hold a food truck night

Who doesn’t love a food truck? Food trucks are a great way to gather past clients together in a unique atmosphere. These can also be a great way to get your name out in a farm area you are targeting. Let’s start with the client appreciation event.

Success for an effective food truck night for past clients starts with the right type of truck. Make sure the truck serves food that would attract the most people. 

For instance, spicy foods may limit your crowds, while most people would be excited about a Taco Tuesday event with a taco truck. You can hold these events anywhere because the truck is mobile. Budgets for these events will range between $500 to $1,000. Having co-sponsors like your lender or title company can bring the price down while the impact on your business stays high.

Another way to utilize food trucks is by organizing a food truck night in your farm neighborhood. Mario Mitchell, president of The Mitchell Team with Keller Williams Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina, coordinates food truck nights in various targeted neighborhoods once a month. These community gatherings continue to help him build the team’s brand.

Most HOAs are glad to allow you to coordinate a food truck in their neighborhood. Many food trucks are willing to come with a guaranteed minimum dollar amount of sales, usually about $500 to $750.

Coordinating the event could be a no-cost way to spread your brand in your targeted neighborhoods as long as the people in the neighborhood buy at least the sales minimum for the truck.

Mitchell and his team are on-site for these food truck nights and usually provide dessert, or they have some type of takeaway for every person that visits the trucks. This tip is a great way to spend some time with the owners in the neighborhoods they are farming.

5. Host group events

Nothing creates community more than shared events. Whether it be a local sporting event, concert, or an art or wine festival, buying tickets and taking a group of past clients with you to events creates community. There is power in shared events. It creates bonds and deepens relationships.

Another great idea for a group event is to host a private chef dinner at your home or one of your new buyer’s homes. Host three or four past clients, including couples who might have never met before. We have done these before, and I promise the return on investment is stunning regarding relationships and referrals.

6. Celebrate the anniversary of when they bought their home

The day they bought their home is a great time to surprise your clients with a gift when a celebration is unexpected. A framed picture of their home. A doormat with their family name. A framed print that says (family name’s) home, established (the date they bought their home). Simple reminders of your time working together with a card that says:

Happy Homeiversary!

Today marks two years since you bought your home. Thanks again for letting me be a part of finding you all your perfect home.

If you are looking for a memorable way to commemorate the date they bought their home, then consider a cake with a photo of their home on top of it. Delivering this to your client’s home or having it delivered will never be forgotten. Many of these also end up with pictures posted on social media by your surprised and thankful past clients.

7. Buy a branded box truck

Although this does have some expense, it’s a fantastic way to market yourself, your team or your company along with giving great value to your clients. These box trucks are rolling billboards and are very helpful during the moving process. Most of the teams or agents with these box trucks make them available to their clients whenever they need them.

The branded box truck also provides a great way to give back to your community. Chip Collins, broker-owner of Collins Group Realty in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, offers his box truck to local charities whenever needed. By allowing local charities to use the trucks, Collins provides an asset that many of these charities do not have, a great example of giving back to our communities that give so much to us.

Take action, and show your past clients how much they mean to you and your business. When you go the extra mile for your past clients, the growth of your business in the future is secured.

Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.

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